Q: I have just started drying my own lumber and I have a load of 4/4 oak that reached about 10 percent MC, but now after a week of hot (160 F) and dry (under 20 percent RH) conditions, the lumber has not lost any more moisture. Help!

A:  You are checking the moisture content with a moisture meter. If you are using the pin-type meter, you need to make substantial corrections for the temperature; subtract 5 percent MC from the reading or more. If you are using the non-pin meter, are you correcting for species? The correction is at least 4 percent MC for oak.

Let me make one other comment. Moisture meters are excellent tools (essential tools) for rough mill manufacturing and beyond, measuring the moisture of lumber around 7 percent MC. But they are not suitable for the primary moisture measuring technique when drying lumber, especially when the lumber is over 25 percent MC or the lumber requires exacting final MC limits. Use the standard weighing techniques for the primary method of drying and use MC meters for supplemental information.

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